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Paintball field sued by non-profit for the blind.


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#1 eskeoto

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:28 AM

Didn't see this posted up, and thought you might like to read it.
http://campaign2012....ed-blind/263976

December 18, 2011 3:26pm
Paintball park sued by non-profit for the blind
by Barbara Hollingsworth, Local Opinion Editor

Lawyers representing a non-profit Maryland group are suing a White Marsh paintball park for not letting them play.

Why? Because they’re blind.

Paintball is a visual sport. But it’s doubtful that’s what lawyers for Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, a non-profit whose stated “purpose is to positively change people's attitudes about blindness,” were thinking when they filed the first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Route 40 Paintball Park in U.S. District Court.

The 11-year old park, which features four tournament-size fields, is owned by former “professional” paintballer Tom Maliszewski. Rules for patrons of the paintball park, which are posted one its website, states: “Blind shooting is not allowed. Look at what you are shooting.” With flying projectiles, this is only common sense.

This is an obvious reference to careless behavior by sighted players, but since it could equally apply to the sightless as well, making it difficult to prove that any blind would-be paintball players are victims of discrimination.

This is an obvious payday ploy intended to pressure Maliszewski, who had no comment, into some sort of financial settlement to avoid spending even more money on legal fees. But it may backfire on Blind Industries. This suit isn't goiing to change people's attitudes about blindness "positively." And in this Christmas season, it’s difficult to feel philanthropic toward people who will use the money to abuse the legal system this way, harming small business owners in the process.

Even if they are blind.


Edited by CrazyLittle, 19 December 2011 - 11:39 PM.
Fixed formatting


#2 UV Halo

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for posting this up but, my god, look at your posts after you post them...

Here's a quote from the article from the Washington Examiner, (link):

Lawyers representing a non-profit Maryland group are suing a White Marsh paintball park for not letting them play.

Why? Because they’re blind....


I've been to that field (Route 40 Paintball)- The four Tournament-sized fields are the majority of the park.

I wonder if this stems from an insurance requirement which requires "no blind fire", and therefore the field interpretates it as "you can't play if you're blind" (in addition to the interpretation that most of us understand). I wonder if blind folks would be allowed to play if they went down to Warplay Paintball in Virgina which has a 'non-traditional' insurance plan by my guess since they allow full auto, blind fire, etc.

#3 Morgan-Crp

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:43 PM

lolwut.

#4 fortheloveofpaint

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:44 PM

its kind of all broken like all over the place

It's the same thing with thongs. It's hot when a girl wears one. But when I try to....


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#5 JR007

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:23 PM

So glad I don't live in the USA. You guys can't take a sh*t without someone being offended and sueing!

#6 Vaellis

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

Say what?
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#7 misterkyle

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

So glad I don't live in the USA. You guys can't take a sh*t without someone being offended and sueing!


ik :(

#8 oldnewb

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 05:49 PM


So glad I don't live in the USA. You guys can't take a sh*t without someone being offended and sueing!


ik :(


I think he's implying that the US has a reputation for being litigation happy. Y'know... throw up a stupid lawsuit, and hope you get an out-of-court settlement just to pay you off to go away. Used to happen to celebrities and big corporations all the time. Justin Bieber is one good example... make up crap about a celeb that has no hope of getting through the court system, but will still cost the defendant a crap ton of money to fight in court. Defendant then decides to settle out of court for an amount that would be less than defending themselves in court.

Something needs to be done when the system is clogged with frivolous lawsuits.

Sad to say, Canada is not much better. It is a LITTLE better, but not because our system works better... just because Canadians are generally (but not always) nicer and more decent to one another (and there's a legal limit to what you can sue for).
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#9 Panda_With_Guns

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:16 PM

I think Maliszewski should counter-sue after he wins in court to get back all the legal fees he has to pay for. I mean, come on. It's a safety issue. No ref is gonna wanna be out there for that. The blind players will be aiming by sound, so if the ref makes a noise he'll have a bunch of people shooting at him. I've been in a game where someone mask fell off from bumping into a bunker and the ref wasn't able to see it from his vantage point. And the dude was just standing there confused in the middle of crossfire, if some other player hadn't tackled him, he could've had a serious injury.

Edited by Panda_With_Guns, 19 December 2011 - 08:23 PM.

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#10 NJC

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:22 PM

I think Maliszewski should counter-sue after he wins in court to get back all the legal fees he has to pay for. I mean, come on. It's a safety issue. No ref is gonna voluntarily be out there with the high probably of being shot. They'll be aiming


refs always have the high probability of being shot.

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#11 Panda_With_Guns

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

Yea, I edited that right after I accidentally hit the post button.

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#12 Molybdenum

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:06 PM

I love how the felt the need to put "professional" in quotes. I guess professional paintballers are less "professional".

#13 J_DUB

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:30 PM

wow that's crazy I don't know what to say
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#14 CrazyLittle

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:40 PM

Fixed the formatting.

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#15 MURPHofPBP

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:38 AM

December 18, 2011 3:26pm
Paintball park sued by non-profit for the blind
by Barbara Hollingsworth, Local Opinion Editor

"Blind shooting is not allowed. Look at what you are shooting."




hehe, im sry but thats just chuckle inducing in conjunction with this whole rediculous situation. what i want to know is if they just showed up or did they call ahead and ask about it.
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#16 kiriyama9000

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:10 AM

This is unbelievable.
Out of the consideration of everyone's (players, bystanders, refs, and staff) safety, could it be any more obvious why the owner wouldn't let the group play?
I'm sure he meant no offense to anyone who is blind and was thinking in the group's best interests.


That field is about 15-20 mins from where I live.


BTW: Its funny it got brought up that the US is notorious for it's legal practices.
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Edited by kiriyama9000, 20 December 2011 - 01:52 PM.

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#17 Coastermaniac

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:14 AM

Suing is a national sport in the US.


They even have tv shows about it Posted Image

#18 Distortion_UK

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:54 PM

There was a deaf group at a field I worked at and that sounded hard enough. Blind people playing just isn't safe.

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#19 blckninja

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:52 PM

There was a deaf group at a field I worked at and that sounded hard enough. Blind people playing just isn't safe.


At the field I go to there is a deaf guy who plays, but thats easy to overcome. Blindness, thats a safety hazard no matter how you look at it.

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#20 tripp

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 03:56 PM

ived reffed numerous deaf or hearing impaired groups,
we grab about 4 refs for a group or 10 or higher just to be safe
use hand signals and blue/red tape wrapped toilet paper rolls(full rolls)
we simply toss the roll in front of them or at them(underhand of course) to let them know they are out

but a Blind group would be almost impossible
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#21 TheGuy

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:00 PM

There was a deaf group at a field I worked at and that sounded hard enough. Blind people playing just isn't safe.


You dont need to hear to play paintball.
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#22 qwertyuiop

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:42 PM

What is this...... I don't even........

I cannot conceive of a single way in which this could work short of having someone walk around with each blind person and aiming for them, telling them when to shoot, telling them if they got hit on their gun. It would be ridiculous.
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#23 UV Halo

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:45 PM

That's because so many folks in this thread are assuming that the individuals who wanted to play were fully blind (vice legally blind and capable of receiving the aid of one of these organizations). If they weren't fully blind, I can easily see these folks playing as a private group.

#24 oldnewb

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:46 PM

Hmmm... I wonder how long it would be before this same group tries sueing a flight school for not letting them take airplane piloting course.
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#25 Distortion_UK

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:02 PM


There was a deaf group at a field I worked at and that sounded hard enough. Blind people playing just isn't safe.


You dont need to hear to play paintball.


Yes but its still difficult to reff a group of 40 who can't hear. Its easily over come but you always find yourself saying things and the realising.....oh yeah they're deaf.

Ever approached a deaf player from behind? Don't It ends bad.

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#26 Rival

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:46 PM

The quote illustrates that the field has a "no blind fire" rule, right? (sticking your marker above the bunker your hiding behind and "blindly" firing in the direction of the other team etc). Thats how I read it anyway. It doesn't really say that the owner specifically told this group of partially sighted/blind people that they couldn't play because of their disability. So, jog on stupid people?


But America is a daft place with regard to lawsuits and such. So applying logic to this is probably a bit, stupid, right? :unsure:

Edited by Rival, 20 December 2011 - 07:47 PM.

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#27 -ORaNGe-

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:34 PM

If they want to prove something they should hit a motocross track :dodgy:

#28 K.YO

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:07 PM

interesting case

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#29 squares

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:45 PM

I actually had a conversation with one of the guys at the field about this very event. I got the impression that it happened a long time ago, and was already thrown out of court (maybe this happened before?). This same group of people took a bus to the field, but got off at the wrong stop... MILES away from the field. They proceeded to walk along the side of the highway to the field. A group of blind people, walking along side a highway, to go to a paintball field, without finding out if they could actually play beforehand.

#30 OUpaintball37

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:19 PM

I love how the felt the need to put "professional" in quotes. I guess professional paintballers are less "professional".


Yeah. We aren't nearly as professional as college basketball and their numerous child rapists.

Hmmm... I wonder how long it would be before this same group tries sueing a flight school for not letting them take airplane piloting course.


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#31 DcSalem

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:26 PM

Sounds like a ploy to get money, I to if I was owner deny them to play for there own safety...sounds like I'm being a an @ss


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#32 UV Halo

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:34 PM

I recommend before anyone makes any further comments, think about this- If you were partially blind (i.e. not able to get a drivers license nor read but, track people in a room or field)), and you wanted to play speedball with some of your similarly disabled friends, but, were told "No" because you're 'technically blind', what would you think?

If the organization is simply trying to make a buck, then to hell with them. But, given the little amount of information about this case, I honestly think folks should chill out with the hate. Especially given that in the claim, they assert that they've played at other fields.

Edited by UV Halo, 20 December 2011 - 10:35 PM.


#33 Robot85

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:45 PM

I recommend before anyone makes any further comments, think about this- If you were partially blind (i.e. not able to get a drivers license nor read but, track people in a room or field)), and you wanted to play speedball with some of your similarly disabled friends, but, were told "No" because you're 'technically blind', what would you think?


If a group of pregnant women all wanted to ride the roller coaster at the same time it wouldn't be any safer. It is a rule that exists for everyone's safety, including those who happen to be visually impaired. This is simply a cash grab or attempt at getting attention.

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#34 modelstarter

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:23 PM

this is ridiculous.....but if you read the comments in the link to the article there is a commenter who posted that the group had booked the field in advance and has played there before...the authenticity of this... Posted Image


thank god i live in a country with a slow(shit) legal system where civil litigation can take up to 3 years or more before its even its even heard in court and even longer proceedings......Posted Image
thus effectively cutting out bullshit lawsuits Posted Image...

Edited by modelstarter, 20 December 2011 - 11:24 PM.

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#35 Yodi21

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:17 AM

Being visually impaired is a very very broad term. The group was most likely considered legally blind, not fully blind. In any case, myself being visually impaired, it is hard(er) to play paintball the less vision you have. It is all well and good for the group to try and see if they can play paintball, I say go right ahead... to a certain point. My vision corrects extremely well for my circumstances, and I am all for everyone getting an equal right to participating in whatever they deem possible. Paintball, however, is a very, very big grey area. It is a sport that is very fast paced, and that causes trouble for those with visual impairments, let alone if an individual is legally blind. I don't see how even if the field let them play the group would have fun. Just focusing on running to the correct position whilst not running into anything would be difficult, let alone shooting at the other players. In this case, its not a matter of equality, its a matter of safety. Be it the safety of the group (now the suitors), the refs and staff of the fields, or the other players (if they didn't know the group in question was visually impaired.) Long story short, these lawsuits make me sick, honestly, if you have an impairment, don't let it stop you from doing everything a "normal" person can, but know your limits for God's sake!
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#36 blckninja

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:48 AM


I recommend before anyone makes any further comments, think about this- If you were partially blind (i.e. not able to get a drivers license nor read but, track people in a room or field)), and you wanted to play speedball with some of your similarly disabled friends, but, were told "No" because you're 'technically blind', what would you think?


If a group of pregnant women all wanted to ride the roller coaster at the same time it wouldn't be any safer. It is a rule that exists for everyone's safety, including those who happen to be visually impaired. This is simply a cash grab or attempt at getting attention.


Its a rule that is designed to keep everyone that is participating in the event safe. Rules are meant to be followed, not broken.

And yes, this is a cash grab. And this is a perfect example of how broken our legal system is.


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#37 No Mercy Ever

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

This is stupid and ridiculous. Let's say that people who wanted to play were completely blind. These are people who rely on their other senses to allow them to keep interacting with society. We all know that a mask can impair one's sense of hearing, as well as one's sense of smell. So that means they have to rely on their sense of taste (Yeah, right) and their sense of touch. Touch is helpful when they are getting shot, but do they really know from where they are getting shot, much less can they tell if the paintballs are bouncing or breaking?

Let's say that the people were partially blind. From the Washington Examiner article, it does not say that they tried to play, and actually gives emphasis to the no blind firing rule. Funny that, long before there was paintball, there were soldiers in wars fighting for whatever reason that they were there fighting for. Not just here in the US, but anywhere there was firearms. Some soldiers got the idea to stay behind their cover, a building, a tree, wall, whatever, and stick their gun, rifle, submachine gun, whatever, around the corner and shoot. They don't know where exactly the bullets are going, just a general idea. This was called....wait for it....Blind Firing. It's not exactly new, or specifically limited to paintball. And yet, I don't see this same group going to the military and trying to sue them over the term. It's utterly ridiculous.

This is stupidity for the sake of stupidity. Nothing more, and nothing less.

#38 MayheM

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:19 AM

As hard as it may seem...reffing a group of blind players is not impossible. I have a reffed a group of special needs players, including deaf, blind and developmentally disabled. Only modification to the rules was the assistants for the blind players were allowed to work with them as a tandem. Basically one player was the eyes and the other was the marker. In the end it turned out to be one of the most interesting as well as enjoyable games I ever had the opportunity to ref.

#39 Nobben #44

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:44 AM

As hard as it may seem...reffing a group of blind players is not impossible. I have a reffed a group of special needs players, including deaf, blind and developmentally disabled. Only modification to the rules was the assistants for the blind players were allowed to work with them as a tandem. Basically one player was the eyes and the other was the marker. In the end it turned out to be one of the most interesting as well as enjoyable games I ever had the opportunity to ref.


You can't really do that when everybody in the group is blind can you?
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#40 Conscript10001

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:52 PM


As hard as it may seem...reffing a group of blind players is not impossible. I have a reffed a group of special needs players, including deaf, blind and developmentally disabled. Only modification to the rules was the assistants for the blind players were allowed to work with them as a tandem. Basically one player was the eyes and the other was the marker. In the end it turned out to be one of the most interesting as well as enjoyable games I ever had the opportunity to ref.


You can't really do that when everybody in the group is blind can you?
I blind person visually leads another blind person, a bunch of Norwegian comedians did a skit on this once, in a rally car.


No, what he means is that you would have a person who is not impaired in any way to assist the person with the impairment.
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#41 RealtorTommy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:43 PM

My opinion can go both ways and not knowing "all" info I will just claim this....

There's not much one can do when a ambulance chaser looks to the ADA to line their pockets. There many law groups that go after mom and pop businesses because the business settles 99 percent of the time. I serious about this as they visit every building in the town and see what they can find. If your doorway is one inch to narrow and "grandfathered" in the building code you will still get sued and have no recourse. Giving access to the impaired or disabled is important and should be. Most owners can and will do there best to afford their customers full access. But witch hunts just to gain money pisses me off.

Now if the owner has a just cause for safety and can prove it...more power to him.

Edited by RealtorTommy, 11 January 2012 - 03:47 PM.


#42 sameagol26

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:58 PM

That's bullshit they would sue over that. If I was a ref, I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to "babysit" a blind person playing.I mean, blind people have overcome many things but it seems somewhat unsafe allowing a blind person to play when it's mainly a visually oriented game.

Edited by sameagol26, 11 January 2012 - 03:59 PM.

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#43 woodsballer414

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:57 PM

90% of your minds input is from sight. In most states it is illegal for blind people to even own a gun (for obvious reasons). If blind people want to play that bad let them play and see how long they'll be there. The USA's legal system is so fucked up you can get sued for calling a woman "ma'am" but if she breaks your nose she can sue you for "giving tempted purpose to harm". This has happened to me and SHE WON. It's sad how many stupid little laws we have yet, how many major things you can do that is a loophole in the law.
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#44 thiswonthurt

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:34 AM

Here's the filing for those who haven't read it.

Case 1:11-cv-03562-WMN Document 1 Filed 12/12/11

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND (Northern Division)

BLIND INDUSTRIES AND SERVICES OF MARYLAND
3345 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, Maryland 21227
Baltimore County

MARCO CARRANZA
130 M Street, Apartment 806
Washington, D.C. 20002
District of Columbia

COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE
JAMES KONECHNE
1102 Taylor Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21227
Baltimore County
and
RONALD CAGLE
14 Dartmouth Drive
Lewes, Delaware 19958
Sussex County

AND DECLARATORY RELIEF FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND THE MARYLAND WHITE CANE LAW
CASE NO. 1:11-CV-3562
ROUTE 40 PAINTBALL PARK
11011 Pulaski Highway
White Marsh, Maryland 21162-1813
Baltimore County

Serve on Resident Agent:
Miriam Maliszewski 2733 Ady Road
Forest Hill, Maryland 21050-1805

Plaintiffs,

Plaintiffs Marco Carranza, James Konechne, and Ronald Cagle (hereinafter “Individual Plaintiffs”) and Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (“BISM”) file this Complaint against Defendant Route 40 Paintball Park for civil rights violations and allege as follows:

INTRODUCTION
1. This action seeks to put an end to civil rights violations committed by Defendant against the blind. By denying blind persons the opportunity to participate in paintball activities, Defendant is excluding blind persons from full and equal access to a public accommodation enjoyed by others without disabilities.
2. This case arises under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12182, and the Maryland White Cane Law, Md. Code Ann., Human Services § 7-704.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343(a)(4) because of Plaintiffs’ federal civil rights claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12182. This Court also has supplemental jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
4. Venue in this Court is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(B) because Defendant does business in this district and the acts constituting violations of the ADA and the Maryland White Cane Law complained of occurred in this district.
PARTIES
5. Plaintiff BISM is a statutorily-created nonprofit entity responsible for maintaining an education and training center for the blind. BISM’s mission includes both helping the blind reach their potential for living and working independently and enhancing the public’s attitudes concerning blindness. BISM and its constituents have long been actively involved in promoting independence for the blind, including equal access to places of public accommodation. BISM constituents would
participate in Defendant’s paintball activities but for Defendant’s denial of service. BISM sues on behalf of its constituents, as well as in furtherance of its extensive efforts and expenditure of resources in promoting two of its principal missions: independence of the blind and equal access for the blind. Defendant’s discriminatory policies frustrates these missions and results in the diversion of its resources to address Defendant’s discriminatory practices.
6. Marco Carranza is a citizen and resident of the District of Columbia. Mr. Carranza is legally blind. At all times relevant to this action, Mr. Carranza was the Adult Services Manager at BISM. In the role of instructor, Mr. Carranza supervised blind individuals in all manner of training, including cane travel and other mobility skills. He enjoys paintball as a leisure activity.
7. Plaintiff James Konechne is a citizen of Baltimore County, Maryland and resides in Baltimore. Mr. Konechne is legally blind. He is a braille instructor at BISM. In his free time, Mr. Konechne is a paintball enthusiast and has enjoyed playing the sport throughout the country.
8. Plaintiff Ronald Cagle is a citizen of Sussex County, Delaware and has a permanent residence in Lewes, DE. Mr. Cagle is legally blind. At all times relevant to this action, Mr. Cagle was a student and trainee at BISM. He has had experience playing paintball both while sighted and blind.
9. Route 40 Paintball Park (“the Park”) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Maryland, with its principal place of business in Baltimore County, Maryland.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
10. The Park is a facility open to the public where enthusiasts of the sport of paintball participate in paintball matches against one another.
11. The Park organizes paintball matches, sets the rules, and arranges for referees to officiate the matches. The Park charges participants to use the fields on which the matches take place and also rents equipment and supplies.
12. The Park requires that participants fill out a “Waiver and Release of Liability” and that participants use safety equipment, such as goggles.
13. The sport of paintball is played on a field of predetermined bounds by opposing teams seeking to eliminate opposing team members by shooting them with air-propelled, paint-filled gelatin balls called paintballs while attempting to complete a stated objective, which varies by game.
14. As part of BISM’s adult CORE rehabilitation and training program, blind students must plan and execute a group social outing to demonstrate competency in mobility skills. One student selected an outing to play paintball and made the required reservation with the Park for Saturday, May 21, 2011 at noon.
15. On the morning of May 21, 2011, a group of two BISM instructors and six BISM students began their long walk to the Park, relying on their cane travel and other mobility skills to navigate their way to their final destination.
16. Having arrived at the Park at the appointed time, the Individual Plaintiffs checked in with the Park’s staff. The Individual Plaintiffs were dismayed when Park employees and Park owner, Miriam Maliszewski, told them that they would not be allowed to participate in any paintball matches because they were blind. Based on past experience with paintball matches, the Individual Plaintiffs explained how they would safely navigate the playing field and participate in the match as they had done at other paintball parks. The Park employees and owner renewed their refusal. The Individual Plaintiffs then told the Park employees and owner that the Maryland White Cane Law required that they be allowed to participate in paintball matches. The Park employees and owner, for a third time, refused to allow the Individual Plaintiffs to participate in a paintball match.
17. The Individual Plaintiffs then contacted the Baltimore County Police Department to report the Park’s refusal to allow them to participate in a paintball match, a misdemeanor violation of the
Maryland White Cane Law. The police arrived and attempted to mediate the dispute, but the Park persisted in its refusal of service.
18. On August 16, 2011, Officer Trageser issued a Baltimore County Police Department Crime Report (CC# 11-141-0783) for the Park’s violation of the Maryland White Cane Law.
19. On June 10, 2011, though not required to do so, the undersigned sent a letter to the Park owner requesting an opportunity to discuss an amicable resolution of the dispute arising from the Park’s violations of Individual Plaintiffs’ rights. As of this filing, the Park has not responded.
COUNT I (Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12182)
20. The allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

21. Title III of the ADA guarantees that individuals with disabilities shall have full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.
22. Individual Plaintiffs are legally blind and are individuals with disabilities under the ADA.
23. The Park is a place of public accommodation under the ADA because it is both “a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation,” and a “a park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation.” 42 U.S.C. § 12181.
24. Paintball matches are a good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation of the Park.
25. The Park is intentionally violating the ADA by refusing to allow the Individual Plaintiffs, because of their blindness, to participate in paintball matches, even after being notified that such a policy constitutes discrimination.
26. As a result of the Park’s wrongful conduct, BISM and the Individual Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188, requiring Defendant to remedy the discrimination.
27. BISM and the Individual Plaintiffs are also entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12205.
COUNT II (Violation of the Maryland White Cane Law, Md. Code Ann., Human Servs. §§ 7-704, 707)
28. The allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs are incorporated by reference.
29. The Maryland White Cane Law guarantees that individuals with disabilities receive full and equal rights and privileges with respect to places of public accommodations.
30. Individual Plaintiffs are legally blind and are individuals with disabilities under the Maryland White Cane Law.
31. The Park is a place of public accommodation because it is both a place of recreation and entertainment and is a place to which the general public is invited.
32. Paintball matches are a right or privilege of the Park.
33. The Park is intentionally violating the Maryland White Cane Law by refusing to allow the Individual Plaintiffs, because of their blindness, to participate in paintball matches, even after being notified that such a policy constitutes discrimination.
34. As a result of the Park’s wrongful conduct, BISM and the Individual Plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Human Servs. § 7-707(B), requiring Defendant to remedy the discrimination.
COUNT III (Declaratory Relief Pursuant to the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201)
35. The allegations contained in the preceding paragraphs are incorporated by reference. 6
C. § 12205; and
Award Plaintiffs their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, as provided by 42 U.S.C.
36. BISM and the Individual Plaintiffs contend, and believe that the Park denies, that its policy of denying blind customers the opportunity to participate in paintball matches fails to comply with applicable laws including, the ADA and the Maryland White Cane Law.
37. A judicial declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 is necessary and appropriate at this time in order that each of the parties may know their respective rights and duties and act accordingly.

RELIEF SOUGHT
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request that this court:
A. Enter a declaratory judgment that Defendant violated Plaintiffs’ rights under the ADA and/or the Maryland White Cane Law;
B. Enter a preliminary and permanent injunction to prohibit Defendant from violating the ADA and the Maryland White Cane Law;
D. Grant such other and further relief as the court may deem just and proper. December 12, 2011
Respectfully submitted,
__/s/ Gregory P. Care___________________ Stuart O. Simms, Bar No. 27090 Gregory P. Care, Bar No. 29060 Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP
120 E. Baltimore Street, Suite 1700 Baltimore, Maryland 21202 Phone: 410-962-1030 Fax: 410-385-0869 sos@browngold.com gpc@browngold.com
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
7
OJS 44 (Rev. 12/07)
CIVIL COVER SHEET
Case 1:11-cv-03562-WMN Document 1-1 Filed 12/12/11 Page 1 of 1
The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE REVERSE OF THE FORM.)
I. (a) PLAINTIFFS (B) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff
(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)
© Attorney’s (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number)
II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an “X” in One Box Only)
DEFENDANTS
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NOTE: IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF THE LAND INVOLVED.
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III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES(Place an “X” in One Box for Plaintiff
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PTF
DEF
and One Box for Defendant)
PTF DEF
Citizen of This State ’ 1 Citizen of Another State ’ 2 ’ 2 Incorporated and Principal Place ’ 5 ’ 5
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’ 210 Land Condemnation ’ 220 Foreclosure ’ 230 Rent Lease & Ejectment ’ 240 Torts to Land ’ 245 Tort Product Liability ’ 290 All Other Real Property
’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’
’ ’ ’ ’

’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’
’ ’
400 State Reapportionment 410 Antitrust 430 Banks and Banking 450 Commerce
460 Deportation 470 Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations 480 Consumer Credit 490 Cable/Sat TV 810 Selective Service
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950 Constitutionality of State Statutes
Appeal to District ’ 7 Judge from
V. ORIGIN
’ 1 Original Proceeding
(Place an “X” in One Box Only) ’ 2 Removed from ’ 3 Remanded from
State Court Appellate Court
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Reinstated or ’ 5 Transferred from ’ 6 Multidistrict Reopened another district Litigation
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VII. REQUESTED IN ’ CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION
DEMAND $
CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:
COMPLAINT:
VIII. RELATED CASE(S) IF ANY
DATE
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY
UNDER F.R.C.P. 23
JURY DEMAND:
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’ Yes
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’ 1
of Business In Another State ’ 3 ’ 3 ForeignNation
CONTRACT
TORTS
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’ 310 Airplane ’ 315 Airplane Product
Liability ’ 320 Assault, Libel & Slander
’ 330 Federal Employers’ Liability
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Liability ’ 350 Motor V ehicle
’ 355 Motor V ehicle Product Liability
’ 360 Other Personal Injury
PERSONAL INJURY
’ 362 Personal Injury - Med. Malpractice
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’ 368 Asbestos Personal Injury Product
Liability
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Property Damage ’ 385 Property Damage Product Liability
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of Property 21 USC 881 ’ 630 Liquor Laws
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Case 1:11-cv-03562-WMN Document 1-2 Filed 12/12/11 Page 1 of 2
AO 440 (Rev. 12/09) Summons in a Civil Action
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT for the
Defendant
To: (Defendant’s name and address)
) )
SUMMONS IN A CIVIL ACTION
Plaintiff
__________ District of __________
) ) )
v. ) Civil Action No. )
A lawsuit has been filed against you.
Within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it) — or 60 days if you are the United States or a United States agency, or an officer or employee of the United States described in Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 (a)(2) or (3) — you must serve on the plaintiff an answer to the attached complaint or a motion under Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The answer or motion must be served on the plaintiff or plaintiff’s attorney, whose name and address are:
If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You also must file your answer or motion with the court.
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Date:
Case 1:11-cv-03562-WMN Document 1-2 Filed 12/12/11 Page 2 of 2
AO 440 (Rev. 12/09) Summons in a Civil Action (Page 2)
Civil Action No.
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(This section should not be filed with the court unless required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4 (l))
This summons for (name of individual and title, if any)
was received by me on (date) .
’ Ipersonallyservedthesummonsontheindividualat(place )
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, a person of suitable age and discretion who resides there,
on (date) , and mailed a copy to the individual’s last known address; or
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designated by law to accept service of process on behalf of (name of organization) on (date)
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My fees are $ for travel and $ for services, for a total of $
; or
, who is
; or
I declare under penalty of perjury that this information is true.
Additional information regarding attempted service, etc:
on (date) ; or
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All content in above posts appears like in the original document except for a few *'s that cluttered the document in the forum format. If you believe I have edited this document unjustly please feel free to contact me and I will send you the original PDF I took it from.

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#45 kiriyama9000

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:09 PM

Thanks for posting this!

It'd be a huge shame if this business were to fall apart because of such a silly case.
I drove by this past Saturday and the parking lot was pretty full.

There aren't many fields around Baltimore any more.
Route 40 and Pasadena Paintball Park are the only 2 fields within a 20-30 minute drive of the city.

Edited by kiriyama9000, 30 January 2012 - 12:14 PM.

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#46 UV Halo

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:03 PM

6. Marco Carranza is a citizen and resident of the District of Columbia. Mr. Carranza is legally blind. At all times relevant to this action, Mr. Carranza was the Adult Services Manager at BISM. In the role of instructor, Mr. Carranza supervised blind individuals in all manner of training, including cane travel and other mobility skills. He enjoys paintball as a leisure activity.

7. Plaintiff James Konechne is a citizen of Baltimore County, Maryland and resides in Baltimore. Mr. Konechne is legally blind. He is a braille instructor at BISM. In his free time, Mr. Konechne is a paintball enthusiast and has enjoyed playing the sport throughout the country.

8. Plaintiff Ronald Cagle is a citizen of Sussex County, Delaware and has a permanent residence in Lewes, DE. Mr. Cagle is legally blind. At all times relevant to this action, Mr. Cagle was a student and trainee at BISM. He has had experience playing paintball both while sighted and blind.


So, just what was I saying about "legally blind"?

...so many folks in this thread are assuming that the individuals who wanted to play were fully blind (vice legally blind and capable of receiving the aid of one of these organizations). If they weren't fully blind, I can easily see these folks playing as a private group.


Now granted the Jury isn't in on this case yet but, if the plaintiffs are opening with these statements, and are willing to take the stand to describe how they've been playing paintball at other parks, this will probably be an open and shut case, and not in the field's favor.

Here's something I remember about human vision, back in the late 90s, I was very interested in Virtual Reality and I wore various goofy headgear contraptions meant to immerse me in the game. The resolution and optics of those games/systems were so poor that it could be said that if you saw that badly in real life, you would be considered "legally blind". I had no problem navigating the game world, and shooting other players. Further, consider this quote from wikipedia:

In North America and most of Europe, legal blindness is defined as visual acuity (vision) of 20/200 (6/60) or less in the better eye with best correction possible. This means that a legally blind individual would have to stand 20 feet (6.1 m) from an object to see it—with corrective lenses—with the same degree of clarity as a normally sighted person could from 200 feet (61 m). In many areas, people with average acuity who nonetheless have a visual field of less than 20 degrees (the norm being 180 degrees) are also classified as being legally blind. Approximately ten percent of those deemed legally blind, by any measure, have no vision. The rest have some vision, from light perception alone to relatively good acuity.


"Legally Blind" is a pretty wide definition, and I'm willing to bet that some of those 90% would do just fine on a paintball field.

#47 thiswonthurt

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:13 PM

What I would like to know is what parks they play at. I've been following this for awhile on the other forums and several people who claim to have been there say they we belligerent and couldn't name any other place they played or gear they used. I'm betting when the discovery phase of this is over we will find out they've never played at an actual field. Maybe outlaw ball or something.

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#48 No Mercy Ever

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:08 PM

I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. Your mileage may vary with use.

Here is one thing that I see out of this: A timeline. It's somewhat important.

May 21st, 2011 - Plaintiff's arrive at the paintball park to play, are told that they can't, try to reason with the park, still rebuked, call the police who try to arbitrate, and are rebuked for a third time.
August 16th, 2011 - Baltimore County Police issue a report that shows the incident, and steps taken to remedy it, before law enforcement are involved, as well as law enforcement's involvement. From here, although it is odd that it took almost three full months between the incident and issuance of a report, it can be believed that since this is a misdemeanor infraction, it was forwarded to the local District Attorney's office for further attention.
December 12th, 2011 - This lawsuit is filed.

It's odd that it took so long for a report, but in the almost four months, I would guess that since there is no mention of it, the local District Attorney is choosing to no pursue the case. Granted, there is probably no jail time involved, just large monetary fines, but still, a business that fails something as important as equal rights for people of disabilities is going to get a DA response, unless there is no real good reason to go after this. They probably still have enough time on the statute of limitations to go after the paintball park over this, but if the DA does not think that he can get a win, they aren't going to go after it, no matter how much a group of disabled individuals pester them otherwise. Unlike private attorney's, who do whatever and get paid win or lose, DA's and their ADA's that they have working for them, don't waste time on something that they don't think that they can win, or at least get some kind of out of court settlement/plea bargain. Otherwise, they get to lose a job. And government jobs are awefully nice.

It's funny that you mention legally blind. Yes, you can be legally blind, and still have vision. Even to the point that you could drive, if wanted, but aren't supposed to. But the key part to this, regardless of how much vision that they do have remaining, or have ever had, was that it states the plaintiff's used "cane travel and other mobility skills". It implies that all eight individuals had canes, which can be a good point for the defense. If they are playing at an outdoor facility that does not have any flat fields and/or speedball type of fields, it means that they are playing on rough terrain. This hampers one's ability to traverse the course accurately and safely.

Further, there is mention in the STATEMENT OF FACTS, part 13, it mentions pre-determined bounds. In a woodsball field, this is easily some form of colored tape running from tree to tree, usually around chest level, which can easily been seen by participants and officials. In taking one's sight out of the equation, this renders the boundaries unusable. As well as the fact that at many fields, thanks to the weather, the boundary tape can easily tear between trees, and often is tied off on various branches in a quick fix by officials (Referee's).

There is always the insurance card. Not knowing what their insurance requirements are, the field has every right to deny these people access to the facility if they believe that in doing so, they are opening themselves up for a lawsuit due to injuries that are not going to be covered the insurance agency that they use. Often, there are parts in the wording of an insurance policy that state that they take every reasonable effort to insure a safe environment for participants in the activity. This includes, but not limited to, placing appropriate safety devices between the staging area and the playing field, safety devices on the markers between games and in the non play area, periodically checking equipment for any safety issues, as well as checking the fields for any safety hazards (Like nails sticking out of building materials, ditches that are covered by materials not designed to hold up to a certain weight). As well, this often includes not allowing people under the influence of a substance that may unduly affect one's ability to reason and observe their environment. That last part often pertains to not letting players play while drunk or on drugs. But the exact wording can easily include one's physical liabilities, such as being blind and wanting to play paintball.

I feel for the field. Even if they win, it may cost them so much money that they can't afford to remain open.

#49 smoke14

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:10 PM

Oh my, you have got to be kidding me..

#50 thiswonthurt

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:17 PM

I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. Your mileage may vary with use.

Here is one thing that I see out of this: A timeline. It's somewhat important.

May 21st, 2011 - Plaintiff's arrive at the paintball park to play, are told that they can't, try to reason with the park, still rebuked, call the police who try to arbitrate, and are rebuked for a third time.
August 16th, 2011 - Baltimore County Police issue a report that shows the incident, and steps taken to remedy it, before law enforcement are involved, as well as law enforcement's involvement. From here, although it is odd that it took almost three full months between the incident and issuance of a report, it can be believed that since this is a misdemeanor infraction, it was forwarded to the local District Attorney's office for further attention.
December 12th, 2011 - This lawsuit is filed.

It's odd that it took so long for a report, but in the almost four months, I would guess that since there is no mention of it, the local District Attorney is choosing to no pursue the case. Granted, there is probably no jail time involved, just large monetary fines, but still, a business that fails something as important as equal rights for people of disabilities is going to get a DA response, unless there is no real good reason to go after this. They probably still have enough time on the statute of limitations to go after the paintball park over this, but if the DA does not think that he can get a win, they aren't going to go after it, no matter how much a group of disabled individuals pester them otherwise. Unlike private attorney's, who do whatever and get paid win or lose, DA's and their ADA's that they have working for them, don't waste time on something that they don't think that they can win, or at least get some kind of out of court settlement/plea bargain. Otherwise, they get to lose a job. And government jobs are awefully nice.

It's funny that you mention legally blind. Yes, you can be legally blind, and still have vision. Even to the point that you could drive, if wanted, but aren't supposed to. But the key part to this, regardless of how much vision that they do have remaining, or have ever had, was that it states the plaintiff's used "cane travel and other mobility skills". It implies that all eight individuals had canes, which can be a good point for the defense. If they are playing at an outdoor facility that does not have any flat fields and/or speedball type of fields, it means that they are playing on rough terrain. This hampers one's ability to traverse the course accurately and safely.

Further, there is mention in the STATEMENT OF FACTS, part 13, it mentions pre-determined bounds. In a woodsball field, this is easily some form of colored tape running from tree to tree, usually around chest level, which can easily been seen by participants and officials. In taking one's sight out of the equation, this renders the boundaries unusable. As well as the fact that at many fields, thanks to the weather, the boundary tape can easily tear between trees, and often is tied off on various branches in a quick fix by officials (Referee's).

There is always the insurance card. Not knowing what their insurance requirements are, the field has every right to deny these people access to the facility if they believe that in doing so, they are opening themselves up for a lawsuit due to injuries that are not going to be covered the insurance agency that they use. Often, there are parts in the wording of an insurance policy that state that they take every reasonable effort to insure a safe environment for participants in the activity. This includes, but not limited to, placing appropriate safety devices between the staging area and the playing field, safety devices on the markers between games and in the non play area, periodically checking equipment for any safety issues, as well as checking the fields for any safety hazards (Like nails sticking out of building materials, ditches that are covered by materials not designed to hold up to a certain weight). As well, this often includes not allowing people under the influence of a substance that may unduly affect one's ability to reason and observe their environment. That last part often pertains to not letting players play while drunk or on drugs. But the exact wording can easily include one's physical liabilities, such as being blind and wanting to play paintball.

I feel for the field. Even if they win, it may cost them so much money that they can't afford to remain open.


I'm kind of hoping there is a law on the books that says blind people can't own or operate projectile weapons which will make this an easy case.

Oh my, you have got to be kidding me..


No no this is really happening.

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